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  • New law strengthens punishment for assaulting health sector workers

    New law strengthens punishment for assaulting health sector workers

    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:08
  • Home Office gives go ahead to allow cannabis-derived medicinal products on prescription

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    Friday, 27 July 2018 15:58
  • Review on prescribed medicines sets out scope and terms of reference

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    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:30
  • AMs recommend that pharmacists have access to palliative care data in Wales

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    Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:41
  • APTUK questions claims about pharmacy technicians’ desire to supervise medicines supplies

    APTUK questions claims about pharmacy technicians’ desire to supervise medicines supplies

    Wednesday, 18 July 2018 17:17

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a pharmacist computer imageNovember 29 2017

The minister with responsibility for pharmacy has said he wants community pharmacists to be able to fully access patient records as soon as possible. However, he has been accused of avoiding questions around how funding for pharmacy integration schemes has been spent.

In a letter to the parliamentary All-Party Pharmacy Group, Health Minister Steve Brine said he fully supports NHS England’s plans “to enable community pharmacies to have full read and write access to patient primary care records and would like to have it happen as soon as possible.” He said the aspiration is that a pharmacist working in any clinical setting should be able to record information so that it can be seen by anyone providing primary care.

“We also want pharmacists to be able to see the full primary medical record when providing clinical services,” he said. “However, as you will realise, this is a complex process, with a number of challenges, including the completion of standardised datasets, and is dependent on a number of IT programmes already underway.”

Officials are currently working out the next stages, said the minister, adding: “I expect a roadmap to be available in the near future.”

Mr Brine’s letter was sent to the APPG with follow up information to questions he had been asked at an APPG hearing on October 31. The letter also acknowledged that the government has “more work to do to really tap into the potential of community pharmacy and to determine where it is best placed to help relieve the pressure on other parts of the health service.”

Although he mentioned the additional health funding announced in the Budget last week, the APPG’s Chair, Sir Kevin Barron MP, said: “On the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF), there is still no clarity over how much has been spent so far in this financial year, and only £2m of the total of £42m allocated for 2016-18 was spent last year.

“We also don’t yet have an indication of the PhIF budget for next year, which is only four months away. We therefore continue to have questions about how this Fund is being and will be used, and the extent to which it can provide meaningful impetus for new services which we all agree that we wish to see community pharmacy provide.”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has also expressed its concerns over the funding. Sandra Gidley, the RPS England Chair, said: “This news is deeply disappointing, and it is of great concern that no one appears to know how public money is being spent - or not spent.

“I believe Steve Brine when he says he wants to reset the relationship with community pharmacy and if he is serious about this he must demand specific answers to the questions he was asked. We already know what, in principle, the Integration Fund has been spent on but we do not know the precise amounts. The politicians at the All-Party group wanted to know how much of the fund has been spent and that information simply has not been provided.

“I would urge the Minister not to accept excuses from his officials and hope that he presses to obtain the information we all very much to see. We have already seen an erosion of the fund and recent events raise questions about how secure funding is for next year. The profession needs urgent reassurance on this.”

Links:
APPG statement                 
Health Minister’s letter to the APPG         
RPS statement   

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